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What are Leptin Supplements?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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Leptin supplements are concoctions that may help the body with leptin levels; they may help improve the body's use of a protein hormone called leptin, increase the body’s production of it, or actually add leptin into a person’s diet. Supplements commonly are available as pills, capsules or powders. Many people go in search of leptin supplements, expecting them to contain leptin. Most of them do not, however, as the substance is a hormone and may be subject to government prescription-drug regulation in many places. It may be possible, though, to obtain it by prescription if a doctor believes its use is necessary.

Leptin is a protein hormone that many people seek in supplement form because it has been associated with weight loss. In fact, leptin has been referred to as the obesity or starvation hormone. The protein is made in a person’s fat cells and travels through the bloodstream to the brain. It is said to let the brain know whether or not there is enough energy in a person’s fat cells. When leptin levels are high enough, the brain is said to believe there is enough stored energy to allow the body to burn calories as it normally would. If leptin levels are too low, however, the body may go into starvation mode, believing it does not have enough energy, slowing metabolism, increasing appetite, and making it harder to lose weight.

When a person buys leptin supplements, he may do so expecting to get leptin and real help losing weight. In most cases, however, he will get a supplement that contains substances said to boost leptin levels or help balance hormones in the body. Some of these supplements may help maintain overall good health or keep hormones balanced, but there is often little proof that they actually do so. Additionally, a person’s body may not even absorb and use leptin taken in supplement form. The body may simply digest it without producing any noticeable change in leptin levels.

An individual interested in taking leptin supplements may be disappointed to learn that the hormone may not significantly encourage weight loss. Some studies of this hormone have produced disappointing results. Many people have failed to lose weight, even with higher leptin levels. In fact, some people may have leptin resistance, which means their brains do not signal them to stop eating when leptin levels rise. Instead, they may continue to be hungry, overeat, and gain weight because the brain misses the cues that leptin usually provides.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By DylanB — On Oct 05, 2012

Leptin supplements' side effects forced me to quit taking them. Some people only suffer one side effect, but I experienced three.

Since leptin is a stimulant, it speeds up everything in your body. I was sweating and urinating more, and I became dehydrated. My blood pressure and pulse went higher than normal, too.

I also experienced nausea. That's when I decided that leptin supplements were not for me.

It would be nice to lose weight, but I am afraid that leptin is causing more harm than good. Even if it did make me lose the pounds, I would be afraid to keep taking it.

By lighth0se33 — On Oct 04, 2012

@seag47 – You could try following the leptin diet. This is for people who just can't seem to lose weight.

My cousin is trying it right now. It involves not eating for three hours before you go to bed and not snacking between meals.

You are supposed to stop eating before you get full, and you're supposed to eat protein at breakfast. It's all based on how your body handles leptin.

I have yet to see if this will work for my cousin or not, but I'm very interested. I've also tried leptin supplements, but nothing happened for me, either.

By seag47 — On Oct 03, 2012

I believe I may be one of those people with leptin resistance. I have tried various supplements for weight loss, including leptin supplements, and I haven't seen any results.

What's crazy is that I eat a healthy, balanced diet, and I exercise every day. However, I am stuck at ten pounds over my goal. Nothing I do seems to help.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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